The Endless Search For Causality

Anxiety - Stress ... Time management vital for...

(Photo credit: marsmet481)

One of the things I’ve noticed about my anxiety is that my brain is constantly looking for causality. If anything goes wrong, my brain searches for any possible reason, and often assumes the worst one is true, which just makes the whole problem exponentially worse.

For example, let’s say I cook myself some chicken spaghetti for dinner. A couple of hours later, my stomach starts to hurt. My brain starts searching for all possible reasons for this. It could be:

1) just a bit of indigestion, and taking a Tums would make it better

2) food poisoning, in which case I will surely be dying in another couple of hours, but if I take a Tums assuming it is just indigestion, the food poisoning will be even worse because my body won’t have the acid to fight the bacteria in my gut

3) completely unrelated to food. Most likely stress, and the anxiety of figuring out a cause is just making it worse.

But my brain doesn’t stop here. It will probably assume it is #2. And now my mind starts panicking, thinking about all the horrible things that are going to come. I start feeling bloated, and shaky. The pain gets worse, and I start to feel nauseous. I convince myself that I am going to die here, right now.

Realistically, it is most likely stress-related. I have anxiety, and IBS because of it. So for those of you who have anxiety or think this way, relax. I know how hard it is to calm your mind and not let these thoughts take over. Find what relaxes you, or find a way to distract yourself. It will get better. Just do your best, and give it time.

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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

One response to “The Endless Search For Causality”

  1. sabcooke says :

    I study philosophy and we often discuss causality (that’s why this post caught my eye!) and determinism. As a worrier, I am a lot like you and always go to the worst case scenario. Everything always leads to someone being murdered or worse in my mind… If only there was a determinism pill we could all take that would just let our mind believe everything is out of our control and already decided! What a worry free, albeit boring, world that’d be!

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